Human Services

Adam's House

Helping Hearts Heal

aka Adam's House   |   Shelton, CT   |  adamshousect.org

Mission

Adam's House provides grief support to children, ages 5-18 years of age, and their families who are struggling to cope with the death of a loved one. Adam's House is free-standing, nonprofit grief center in Shelton, CT. Our "Helping Hearts Heal" program is an 8-week program designed to provide support, strength and hope to grieving families in Connecticut at no-cost. Adam's House believes no family should suffer in silence and no child should ever grieve alone. We also are dedicated to becoming a valuable community resource for grief and loss support.

Ruling year info

2013

Principal Officer

Ms. Allison Anne Wysota

Main address

241 Coram Ave.

Shelton, CT 06484 USA

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EIN

46-2047680

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Family Services (P40)

Single Organization Support (O11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Children are often left to grieve alone and in isolation. This often leads to children developing negative coping strategies to help them deal with the painful emotions tied to the death of a loved one. With the rise of gun related deaths and the opioid epidemic, child are dealing with an out-of-oder death more than ever. Childhood bereavement is not going away, but we can make it as comforting and supportive of a journey as possible. At Adam's House children get their voices heard and their feelings are often validated by their peers going through the same crisis. They draw strength from their peers and gain new strategies for dealing with their loss. Ultimately, our goal is to empower our program participants to cope with their loss so they may live their lives to the fullest.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Helping Hearts Heal Program

Adam's House program is designed to support a child, 5-18 years of age. At Adam's House, they learn they will not have to do this tough grief work alone. Peer support has been studied and considered an effective model of support for grief. Adam's House uses a closed-ended education model. A closed group means that once the group members have been interviewed by our staff and cleared by our specialist partners, they begin the program together and end the program together. Families are offered the option of entering a program, but must commit to attending each week's meeting of the eight-week program. A closed-ended model provides the group a sense of security so children feel safe enough to share their grief with their new friends. Parents meet as a group while the children are meeting. Parents will learn how to converse with them and to support them. They are instructed about developmental tasks of all ages and how to appropriately model grief for their children. Littles: Children (5-7 years of age) who have had a parent, sibling or other significant person die. They ""explore"" and share their feelings through play and art activities.Middles:Children (7 to 12 years of age) share feelings about the death of a loved one and feel supported by their peer group during their grief. Teens:Our 13-18 years old teens support each other as they share their experiences about the death of a parent, sibling, best friend or other significant person in their life. Parent Group:While each children's group is meeting, their surviving parent(s) or caregivers will meet in a separate group with a trained facilitator. This is an opportunity to share the concerns and fears that the families and friends are facing at home, and to support one another.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth (0-19 years)
Families

An 8-week grief education program.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

Where we work

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

The Adam’s House mission is to provide grief education and peer support to bereaved children in Connecticut, at no-cost to their families. Each child deserves a supportive and understanding community to learn and explore their feelings of loss. The purpose of Adam’s House is to be a partner in their healing process. As a result, Adam’s House is helping empower children and their families after their loss to live their lives to the fullest, to have the tools and resources to continue along the grief journey and be prepared to take on grief’s challenges, and to build a compassionate, confident, and strong generation of good grievers.

Adam’s House operates a no-cost, 8-week peer-support program for children ages 5-18 and their family/caregivers, who have experienced the death of a loved one. Through the weekly, curriculum-based sessions, children have the opportunity to draw support from their peers and gain new strategies for dealing with loss. Each week participants build resiliency, confidence, and self-esteem through age-appropriate activities, arts and crafts, play, and conversation. 1 in 16 children in Connecticut with lose a parent or sibling by the age of 18. Support for child bereavement is critical for healthy development. By having a caring community, peer-support, coping skills, and a stable caregiver, children are less likely to encounter negative behaviors as a result of grief, included but not limited to substance abuse, anxiety and depression and maladaptive coping.

Adam’s House operates on a lean operating staff with only three part time positions, who manage our community outreach and partnerships—making the program aware to families in need, development—ensuring that our program remains no-cost thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors and foundation and grant support, and the program and families—taking grieving families every step of the way through Adam’s House from initial calls to graduation. We have a beautiful home located in Shelton, CT—easy to get to from major highways, as well as local communities—that lets children feel as if they are going over to a friend’s house and not a doctor, because these children are sad, not sick. Most importantly, our organization manages more than 50 volunteers who serve as FIGS or Friends in Grieve, who after receiving training lead our peer-support groups.

Adam’s House measures success of it’s operation both qualitatively and quantitatively. We start by measuring the numbers: how many children, how many families, and how many programs do we see and operate within a year. We specifically choose to manage only one program at a time to ensure that the families receive the full attention of Adam’s House while on their grief journey, and we keep peer groups small (ideally 5-7 children) to ensure trust, relationship building, and the opportunity for everyone to speak and engage. As we continue to grow our organization we look to grow the number of programs we operate in a year to 4—one each season. More importantly than number, we measure our success in the outcomes and outlooks of our participants. At the start of every program. families complete a survey and activity that opens a window into their emotional state how they feel, what they think, etc. and then that same activity/survey takes place at the conclusion of the 8-week program. This shows Adam’s House the transformation in our program participants.

As of June 2019, Adam’s House has supported 54 children, 38 adults, and 31 families, we have successfully run four programs across three years, and we continue to grow our numbers. The families who walk through our doors leave after 8-weeks feeling like a strong family unit once again, they feel they are better parents to their children, and the kids feel happier, stronger, braver, and more confident, according to program surveys. In addition, as needs for our community shift and we become aware, Adam’s House adds support where able. For instance, we have recently added a widows group for adults to continue growing in their grief journey and get back to being social after loss.

Financials

Adam's House
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Adam's House

Board of directors
as of 7/15/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Marc Fontaine


Board co-chair

Mr Adam Lewis

Allison Wysota

Susan O'Reilly

Cindy Dunlop

Sarah Prout

Rayna Salemme

Lee Kamlet

Katie Regan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Keywords

Bereavement, Grief support, peer support, grief education, loss education, grief support services,